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What We Learned from the embarrassing home L to the Rams

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another week where I’m struggling to pull up anything that we really learned. Unless you’ve been in denial, anyway. Rather we’re back to what I’ve mentioned before, we’re slowly and not so slowly seeing things reinforced in our minds as we make the slow trudge into the last quarter of the season.

Vance Joseph still ain’t it.

It’s becoming a round of bingo of sorts when it comes to this defense. A get right game for a struggling offense? Check. A banner day for a (backup?!) tight end? Check. Missing pieces on the opposing offense not slowing them down? Checkity-check.

I don’t know how you move on from another coordinator in-season, justified or not, and maintain favorable optics for future hires. And I’m not on board with clamoring for Billy Davis either. Might be time we embrace the tank.

Kenyan Drake isn’t the answer.

In a move that’s oddly reminiscent of the Adrian Peterson trade, a struggling team with nothing to play for thought addressing one of the least premium positions in the league was the answer. And again, they were wrong.

Drake is a nice player, don’t get me wrong. I have my doubts about him as a pure runner, but I have nothing against him. Rather, I’d prefer Keim not compound his mistake further by escalating that 6th round pick they traded away for a 5th and potentially overpaying another RB in an RB room that already commands too much of the salary cap. And no, I don’t think they’re getting out of David Johnson being on this roster next year. The rebuild will probably be beyond anything this offseason can remedy, and the RB room is something that can be put on hold while other issues are addressed.

The Haason Reddick experiment is over.

After losing his job in the base defense, it seems like the 2017 Top 13 pick’s time is done in other packages as well. Noticeably absent in favor of Joe Walker, Reddick did take the field only to be on the wrong end of a Tyler Higbee touchdown.

It’s easy to say in hindsight that taking a swing on a undersized edge rusher turned off-ball backer after a good Senior Bowl was a bad idea, but... actually, it’s not easy to say.

Kyler needs help

We can spend the offseason debating whether which group is competent enough and which needs to be quickly addressed, but the answer is both the OL and WR positons need to be buoyed if Kyler Murray is to live up to his potential.

In what seems more and more like a weekly occurrence, a WR was not on the same page was K1. This time it looked like Damiere Byrd ran the wrong route up the sideline. When he wasn’t slipping on his own, Christian Kirk was wiped out by Jalen Ramsey. KeeSean Johnson was a healthy scratch. (Maybe we shouldn’t have placed too much stock on his camp hype, especially given the defenses he was up against...)

The offensive line has been better than expected, but the scheme and QB are partially to thank for taking some load off their work. If the offense is ever truly to take off and see it’s potential, the team needs to know that they can hold up in the vertical game and make room for the running backs when the formation spreads the defense out.

Misc. thoughts...

I told Seth early on that while I always thought there would be a place for Kingsbury in the league, I wasn’t sure if he wouldn’t be more in the Wade Phillips mold. That is to say a strong coordinator but not quite “it” as the CEO. It’s obviously far too early to make any sort of conclusions, but not much has happened to change my thoughts on the matter either.

And whew, at the risk of beating a dead horse... can’t really bring up sweeping roster issues and coaching problems without looking at the guy in charge, eh? I still have my doubts about any serious offseason changes, but if the final four games are anything like this Rams defeat... well, I probably shouldn’t be toying with your hopes.